To maintain an effective and conducive legal environment for electronic transactions, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) are conducting a general review of the Electronic Transactions Act and the Electronic Transactions (Certification Authority) Regulations.
Singapore, 19 February 2004 | For Immediate Release
To maintain an effective and conducive legal environment for electronic transactions, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) are conducting a general review of the Electronic Transactions Act (ETA)1 and the Electronic Transactions (Certification Authority) Regulations ('CA Regulations')2. This review aims to keep Singapore's e-commerce legislation relevant and robust. Proposed revisions will fine-tune the ETA and align the ETA to international developments and on-going work by the E-Commerce Working Group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law3.
IDA and AGC today issued a joint consultation paper on electronic contracting issues. This is the first stage in a three-stage4 public consultation exercise that will be carried out over the course of the year. The second stage will address exclusions from the ETA under section 4 and the third stage will focus on secure electronic signatures and certification authorities. The issuance of these joint consultation papers is part of on-going efforts to provide a platform for industry and members of the public to share their views, to take into account industry trends and developments.
The Electronic Transactions Act (ETA) was enacted in July 1998 to create the legislative framework for electronic transactions in Singapore. The Act gives legal recognition, predictability and certainty to transactions on the Internet and facilitates electronic-commerce. It provides for the legal recognition and usage of electronic signatures and electronic records, and also covers the duties of certification authorities, duties of subscribers and the regulation of certification authorities.
The Joint Consultation paper Electronic Contracting Issues on can be downloaded from the "Policy & Regulation" section of IDA website at www.ida.gov.sg, or the "Publications"; section in AGC website at www.agc.gov.sg. All views and comments should be submitted in writing to reach the AGC, by 12 noon, 15 March 2004. Based on the comments received, IDA and AGC will make appropriate revisions to the ETA. IDA and AGC target to conclude the review of the ETA by the first quarter of 2005.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editors:
1 Singapore was one of the first countries in the world to enact a law that addresses issues that arise from electronic contracts and electronic signatures. The Singapore ETA follows closely the UNCITRAL Model Law on Electronic Commerce, which sets the framework for electronic laws in many countries.
2 The Electronic Transactions Act and its Regulations have put in place a voluntary licensing scheme for certification authorities (CAs). In addition to laying down the administrative framework for licensing by the Controller of CAs, the Regulations also stipulate the criteria for a CA in Singapore to be licensed, and the continuing operational requirements after obtaining a licence. The criteria that CAs are evaluated against include their financial standing, operational policies and procedures, and track record.
3 The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) does its work through six working groups, including a Working Group on E-Commerce. Singapore?s ETA is based on the Model Law on Electronic Commerce (1996), developed by the Working Group in E-Commerce. The Working Group is now in the final stages of drafting a Convention on Electronic Contracting.
4 The scope of the 3-stage joint public consultation is:
|Stage||Focus||Proposed Scope (not exhaustive)|
|I||Electronic Contracting Issues||- Party autonomy
- Recognition of electronic signatures
- Formation of contract
- Time and place of despatch and receipt
- Automated information systems
|II||Exclusions from the ETA under section 4||- Creation or execution of a will
- Negotiable instruments
- Creation, performance or enforcement of an indenture
- Sealing of deeds and attestation
- Declaration of trust
- Power of attorney
- Sale, disposition or transfer of immovable property
- Documents of title
|III||Secure Electronic Signatures & Certification Authorities||- Secure electronic record & signature
- Electronic signatures
- Regulation of Certification Authorities
- Liability of online service providers
- Government use of electronic records & signatures
Please refer to IDA's Media Portal at www.idanews.gov.sg, for more information on the Electronic Transactions Act, which includes a glossary of terms.
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) develops, promotes and regulates info-communications in Singapore, with the aim of establishing Singapore as one of the world's premier infocomm capitals. To nurture an internationally competitive infocomm industry, IDA offers a comprehensive range of programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/.
For media clarification, please contact:
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6211 1997
Fax: +65 6211 2227